October 7, 2013

I’m going to reverse the process today. The majority of previous blogs have emphasized the two most important characteristics of learner-effective e-Learning: a) increased retention and b) better on-the-job performance.

However, it’s equally important for one to be able to recognize the converse: the examples of e-Learning that will impede your goal of effective training.

You may already have seen a decline in retention (assuming you measure that most important bottom line indicator) or you may have already listened to complaints from on-the-floor supervisors regarding the preparation given your trainees. But, do you really know why the training you have selected is failing?

I think I can help — and, we’ll do that by examining the characteristics you should avoid when buying and/or producing e-Learning.

The following items are the “no-no’s” — if you are committed to retention and increased on-the-job performance for your trainees:

1) Page-turning programs are the ultimate killer. If people want to learn by reading, a book is a far better way to go. Page-turning e-Learning courses are boring — which is why more than 65% of learners never complete such programs. Plus, 40% of our nation’s workforce does not comprehend above a 4th Grade reading level. Re-purposed written procedures and PowerPoint presentations lead the list of ineffectual e-Learning. (Effective e-Learning is either video- or gaming-based.)

2) A linear instructional design will also turn off your learners. (Effective e-Learning includes instructional branching as well as total learner navigational control.)

3) Partial, paraphrased, or no audio will eliminate close to half of the learners assigned to an e-Learning course. (Effective e-Learning includes “Optional Word-for-Word Audio” since that is the only way to include everyone, be they fluent or less-fluent readers.)

4) An unfriendly user interface will frustrate your learners — another big reason why more than 60% of students fail to finish such a poorly designed course. (Among other characteristics, effective e-Learning requires a knowledgeably designed “home screen” that will allow the learner to access any feature with a single mouse click.)

There you have it! It is just as important to know what constitutes an e-Learning course you should NOT BUY (or, build) as it is to know the characteristics of those e-Learning courses that will actually contribute to retention and increased on-the-job performance.

More on Wednesday – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder
ITC Learning

www.itclearning.com/blog/ (Mondays & Wednesdays)
e-Mail: bwalton@itclearning.com